Published: January 22nd 2011January 22nd 2011
DAY 13 21st January 2011
An 08.30 start ( after good breakfast of cornflakes, toast and papaya juice!) as a long drive through the desert which we envisaged to be quite boring! However our driver was an excellent spotter of wildlife and it was more like a safari! We spotted antelope, samba bok and vultures and drove past many little round hut villages where if you stopped, the children would just come running down to the car hoping for some pens or lollipops etc. Stopped at a large village on the way called, Khichan where there is a lake that is visited by 7000 cranes that the villagers feed every day. Got some good photos and spent a while chatting to the children there who seemed to want pens, chocolate or shampoo or failing that money to buy any of the previous! Also, we have been seeing some birds flying that are a florescent blue and our driver spotted one sitting on an overhead wire so was able to get some good pics there as well!
Before lunch our driver also spotted some eagles sat on a bank and wanted me to walk across to get some photos! He assured me
that snakes only came out in summer so off we trekked across the scrubland (Chris stayed in the car to guard our belongings!!) There was about 7 or 8 eagles and I was lucky enough to see them all take flight and take the pictures!
We reached Jaisalmer and checked into hotel ( Himmatgarh Palace)– beautiful setting with gardens of bouganvilla and an infinity swimming pool, with a perfect view of the Golden Fort. The rooms were all circular towers, made of the yellow sandstone, so very different!
Met the guide who took us to Gadisagar Lake, which was built in 1367 and was once the citys sole source of water. (Fortunately they have a water system now as the water looked pretty dirty!) Onto the old fort, which was also on the silk route and through the three gates into the main little square ( complete with tuk tuks, cows and dogs!) The Royal palace was bathed in sunlight and it was easy to see why this is called the golden city. Walked through the narrow streets, full of tourist shops and then onto a roof terrace to get some fabulous views of this desert city. Walked through the
old market and looked at some more Havelis for which Jaisalmer is famous, the most famous one being Nathmalji’s Haveli. This haveli was built by two brothers and when you first look at it, it seems completely symmetrical but as you look more closely, you can see many things that are not the same and apparently there are over 100 differences! Back to the hotel then to sit on the terrace and watch the sunset over the city and to see why it got its name as the Golden City.
There are more photos below